Codeine Patient Guide

This information is for you to use when taking codeine. Codeine is mostly used for pain relief but can also be used for cough and diarrhea. Codeine can cause serious side effects, so it is important you know how to take it safely. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist (chemist) or nurse if you have any questions.


Extra care is needed when taking codeine, it is similar to morphine and can be addictive
Ask your doctor how long you should be taking codeine for, it should only be taken for a day or two
Stop taking codeine if your symptoms have been relieved
Always store codeine out of reach and out of sight of children

Let your doctor or pharmacist (chemist) know immediately if you:

Have problems breathing or are feeling very drowsy
Have an accident with a head injury
Are worried that you may have taken too many tablets, or if you think you have been given too many tablets

Tell your doctor and pharmacist (chemist) about all of the medicines you are taking

Codeine can be harmful when taken with some other medicines, especially other types of pain relief
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to check other medicines you are taking – they may have codeine in them too

ALCOHOL and codeine

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking codeine


Codeine is generally not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Do not take any more than your doctor has asked you to

High doses can be harmful, talk to your doctor if you think it is not working
If you have any tablets left over, return them to your pharmacy for safe disposal

FDA Disclaimer
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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